CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - RESTORATION OF DUBLIN BUILDINGS—NUMBERS EMPLOYED.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the number of bricklayers, plasterers, plumbers, carpenters, painters and labourers at present employed at the Custom House, General Post Office, and Four Courts; and if he will recommend the employment at an early date of additional men on these buildings and other buildings being erected or restored out of Government Funds.

replying: The following return shows the numbers of the various classes of workmen employed on a "Time" basis at the buildings specified in the question:—

The number of workmen employed at the Custom House, General Post Office and Four Courts by Board of Works Contractors on a Time basis as per Time Sheets for week ended the 18th November, 1926, were as follows:—

Custom House

General Post Office

Four Courts

Bricklayers

10

1

40

Plasterers

1

2

Plumbers

2

Carpenters

12

2

16

Painters

2

Labourers including Gangers, Timekeepers, Scaffolders and Assistants, Storemen, Carters and boys

96

21

235

Total—

121

24

295

In addition to above the following are also employed on Time basis:—

Electricians

9

Fitters and Blacksmiths

1

2

Stonecutters

40

29

Stonerubbers

6

3

Stonecarvers

1

57

34

Grand Total—

178

24

329

In addition the following arc the numbers of tradesmen and labourers employed in connection with "lump sum" contracts:—

Tradesmen

Labourers

Custom House

44

45

Post Office

35

68

Four Courts

9

3

The grand totals of all men engaged are:—

Tradesmen

Labourers

Totals

Custom House

126

141

267

Post Office

38

89

127

Four Courts

103

238

341

267

468

735

It is anticipated that 200 more men will be taken on within the next fortnight or three weeks for work at these buildings.

Will that embrace Unskilled men, or skilled and unskilled?

To a large extent unskilled; but there will be some skilled.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that it is freely circulated outside that the work is being held up on these buildings, thereby depriving skilled men of necessary employment, and, in view of the large sums of money voted for this purpose, will the Parliamentary Secretary ask the contractors to put on additional men?

The work has been held up very seriously on the G.P.O. for the reason that owing to the coal strike the steel required could not be procured. Special efforts have been made to procure steel, and these are being maintained. Possibly within five weeks from now the necessary steel will be available to enable us to deal with the principal portion of the building. We have already exhausted our work at the Custom House; we are more than ahead of time there.